A Novel

Book - 2013
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Ten-year-old Helen and her summer guardian, Flora, are isolated together in Helen's decaying family house while her father is doing secret war work in Oak Ridge during the final months of World War II. Their relationship and its fallout, played against a backdrop of a lost America will haunt Helen for the rest of her life.
Publisher: New York :, Bloomsbury,, 2013.
Copyright Date: ©2013
ISBN: 9781620401200
Characteristics: 278 pages ;,25 cm.


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Jul 07, 2019

Lovely writing. A quiet and slow book, but that was its point; this was as much about what wasn't said as what was. Young Helen, who just lost her grandmother and had lost her mother in early childhood, needs someone to care for her for the summer while her dad is away working on the Manhattan Project. Flora is selected. Flora, the young cousin of Helen's deceased mother, who is possessed of a generosity of spirit and heart that should be healing to Helen, but Helen has been raised to look down on such virtues. A sense of haunting and dread is threaded through the entire book that made me queasy. Very good, only didn't get a higher rating because I think the ending fell apart a bit and got rushed.

Sep 23, 2015

A lovely "unfolding" story(except an abrupt ending). I will definitely read more from Gail Godwin.

Jul 02, 2015

This is a very good book. From the perspective of a woman looking back to a summer she spent as a ten year old cared for by her cousin, the voice of the child is authentic. The book is filled with orphans and foreboding (the absent father is working on the secret Manhattan Project as a carpenter) and is about jealously, remorse, and the perspective of a child unable to see the consequences of her thoughts and actions.

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